News

Comcast contract to end, UMTV to continue

The University of Miami’s dorms, medical school hospital rooms and on-campus facilities, could soon see better cable television service and an increase in channels like ESPNU. The school is looking into terminating its contract with cable service provider Comcast.

Yet, this termination may affect the way UMTV, the school’s student-run TV station, is broadcast. The current contract with Comcast gives UMTV Comcast’s Channel 96, one of the City of Coral Gables’ public, educational and government-access channels.

While the student-run television station may need to change its distribution method, the school has no intention of shutting it down.

“UMTV will continue to be a major anchoring component of our curriculum in electronic media,” said Sam Grogg, dean of the School of Communication, out of which UMTV operates.

The School of Communication is currently looking at other options like broadcasting on a local PBS affiliate, securing a channel on another cable provider or moving to a distribution method that would rely primarily on streaming over the Internet, in the event that the university severs ties with Comcast.

However, they are working strongly toward keeping UMTV broadcasting in the community. According to Dr. Terry Bloom, the program director for the SoC’s electronic media department, many electronic media and broadcast journalism classes require participation in UMTV shows as part of their curriculum, and broadcasting practice is a requirement for these students to win awards.

To Bloom, airing shows in the community also adds a professional dimension to the programming.
“There’s a huge difference to say to prospective students, ‘go play in the studios’ than to say ‘go play in the studios and produce a TV show for an audience,’” she said.

UM graduate Brad Gage, who is now a production coordinator for “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” said the process on the professional set is almost the same as it was at UMTV.

“UMTV gave me the confidence to know how a show is put together,” said Gage, who graduated in 2009 and worked on the UMTV comedy show “Off The Wire.”

While Gage believes that the station gives meaning to the broadcast program at UM, he said the most important viewership comes from online streaming.

“Most people are watching online, it’s the future of the content anyway,” he said.

On the other hand, senior Ashley-Brooke Silver, who works on “Canes Eye View” and “UMTV Today,” feels the school should fight to keep the station on-air.

“I feel like it’s more of a real show when we are on-air and more people can watch than just the UM community,” Silver said.

The university’s contract with Comcast will expire in August, but if no decision has been reached to break it by May, the contract will be automatically renewed for another year, giving UMTV more time to find alternative ways to broadcast.

“We want to continue to be a voice in the community,” Grogg said. “We just have to wait and see how the negotiations go before we can determine what will happen.”

Alexandra Leon may be contacted at aleon@themiamihurricane.com.

March 2, 2011

Reporters

Alexandra Leon

Senior News Writer


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Comcast contract to end, UMTV to continue”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.